If you can’t smell this tri-color quinoa bowl, let me tell you, it smells like summer. This tri-color quinoa bowl is gluten-free, and it’s packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins.
This is the sort of dish that gives you that “living my best life” feel because, frankly, eating healthy is living MY best life...and relaxing by the beach with a triple shot mimosa in hand, getting a real tan while enjoying the beauty of nature. Can you tell? I need a vacay!
If you’ve been searching for the perfect side dish to jazz up your dinner table or lunch box, this is it. Quick and easy to put together with minimal effort.
Today, I’ll also be sharing my favorite vinaigrette dressing to compliment this quinoa bowl. But, of course, feel free to use any other dressing you like, and I bet it’ll taste just as good.
To whip this colorful quinoa bowl together in less than 5 minutes, do the following;
- Save time and make the dressing ahead.
- Cook the quinoa ahead and store it in the refrigerator.
- Prep the add-ons ahead and store them in the refrigerator
Before we go any further, let’s talk quinoa.
How to Cook and achieve fluffy Tri-color Quinoa:
You might be wondering how long it takes to cook the perfect tri-color quinoa.
Based on the type of quinoa you get, it might be vital to rinse the quinoa before cooking to eliminate the slightly bitter taste, a.k.a saponins, which is generally found on the coating grain, especially if you bought in bulk. Although boxed quinoa already comes pre-rinsed, there might be no need for the extra rinse.
I like my quinoa fluffy and firm in texture with an earthy taste, and I found that rinsing it takes away from all of that. But, of course, to rinse or not to rinse solely depends on you.
To achieve a perfectly cooked quinoa, meaning not undercooked and not overcooked, you’ll need two parts quinoa to one part water. So a cup of quinoa will yield 3 cups once cooked.
- 2 cups water ( vegetable broth is fine too)
- 1 cup dry quinoa (any color)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Salt to taste
Pour the quinoa into a mesh strainer and rinse under running water (if using bulk) for a few seconds.
In a medium saucepan, add quinoa, water or broth, and salt. Bring to a boil covered on high heat. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and allow to simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat, pour in olive oil, and fluff with a fork.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Next, let’s talk add-ons- Vegetables, fruits, nuts...
What Toppings are Good on Quinoa?
For this tri-color quinoa bowl, I used a combination of nutritious seasonal vegetables. If you are wondering what to add to your quinoa bowl, here are a few ideas;
- Cooked corn (roasted enhances the flavor)
- English cucumber
- Grape tomatoes
- Fresh dill or cilantro
Feel free to use whatever you have on hand or add ingredients like you would your favorite salad. There are many delicious combinations out there; sample and see what you fancy.
If you noticed in the picture above, I used grilled mangoes, and boy, was that a hit! The natural sweetness of the mango added substance to the salad bowl. Grilling the mango releases a deep flavor, and it’s a must-try. I first tried grilled mango at Gloria’s restaurant some years back, and I never looked back. Try using a fully ripe mango, NOT OVERLY RIPE.
Lastly, the dressing that brings it all together. This vinaigrette dressing is my favorite to date! Think sweet vinaigrette with a pungent kick.
What Dressing or Sauce should I use For Tri-color Quinoa?
I used a vinaigrette dressing for mine. It was a combination of ;
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Apple cider
- Balsamic vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- Garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Although the dressing tastes good as it is, if you have a sweet tooth like me, add a little honey or maple syrup to take it up a notch. I have experimented with this cashew sauce and it was everything. So, it's up to you.
Additionally, It’s best not to mix the dressing with the quinoa bowl until you are ready to serve.
What can I add to Quinoa for Lunch?
Here is a list of other ingredients that can be added to the tri-color quinoa bowl:
- beans (black, kidney, pinto, northern)
- chickpeas, roasted butternut squash, or potatoes
- snap peas
- feta cheese crumbles e.t.c.
There you have it! Fresh tasting, crunchy Tri-color quinoa bowl that is sure to get the ooh-la-la's in your next gathering.
Are you looking for easy, delicious side dishes? Try these collections below:
The nutty, crunchy chicken salad here
Don’t forget to pin this recipe for later. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@worldlytreat), where we share many behind the scene preps.
Go ahead and give this recipe a try. Are you a fan of quinoa? Please share with us in the comments below.
Peace & Love
TRI-COLOR QUINOA BOWL
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
FOR THE QUINOA BOWL
- 1 Mango, peeled, pitted, and cut in half (Fully ripe is best, NOT OVERLY RIPE).
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup Quinoa
- 1¾ cups Water or broth (2 cups is fine, I prefer the texture when I use less)
- ⅓ cup Chopped onion (about one small onion)
- ½ cup Cooked corn (from one corn hub)
- ½ cup Chopped carrots (from 2 medium-sized carrots)
- ⅓ cup Chopped English cucumber
- ½ cup Grape tomatoes, halved
- A handful of fresh dill ( cilantro is fine, too)
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
- Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a bottle or mason jar with lid, and shake vigorously until well combined. Set aside.
FOR THE QUINOA BOWL
- Spray a heavy bottom grilling pan with cooking spray and place over high heat. Place the mango (flat side down) onto the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until the mango is slightly caramelized. Remove from heat, and allow to cool before chopping. Set aside.
- Pour the quinoa into a mesh strainer and rinse under running water (if using bulk) for a few seconds.
- In a medium saucepan, add quinoa, water or broth, and salt. Bring to a boil uncovered on high heat. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat, pour in olive oil and fluff with a fork.
- Toss the corn, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, dill, and quinoa in a medium sized bowl and set aside. Pour the dressing over the quinoa salad or serve immediately.
- It’s best not to mix the dressing with the quinoa bowl until you are ready to serve.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
- Store any leftover quinoa in the freezer for up to a week.
- Here is a list of other ingredients that can be used for the tri-color quinoa bowl: